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Peter Orlando Hutchinson
Back to the Future - Film archive
In the Footsteps of Peter Orlando Hutchinson 2010-2013
Born in Winchester in 1810, Peter Orlando Hutchinson then spent all his adult life in Sidmouth where he pursued his very diverse range of interests. His geological and archaeological observations are of immense value, but above all it is as an artist and ceaseless and devoted recorder of everything he heard and saw that he will be remembered, making his diaries an immensely valuable source for Devon landscape studies.
Hutchinson’s interests ranged from international politics to performing on the flute and French horn in public concerts in Exeter; from carving decorative stonework for the newly restored Sidmouth church to the latest method of preserving telegraph poles to name but a few.
This community heritage project aims to raise awareness of landscape change, help conserve and enhance historical features, and continue the legacy of volunteer study and involvement in landscape heritage that has grown through the AONB Partnership. Drawing on the work of Peter Orlando Hutchinson, it will provide a detailed and fascinating account of the Victorian landscape. In doing so, we hope to create a further cultural dimension around which to promote and interpret sites and locations within and about this nationally important landscape.
Focusing largely in and around the Sid Valley, the project seeks to revisit many of the historical features of the landscape that Hutchinson recorded, such as hill forts, tumuli, medieval chapels, quarries, etc. with a view to their conservation, enhancement, interpretation and public engagement therein.
The Project has three main themes which will deliver the following actions
Theme 1. To improve learning about our heritage
- Through a series of guided walks, illustrated talks, special events, workshops and training. Visit our Events and News page to find out about all our Peter Orlando Hutchinson events.
- Making Hutchinson's diaries more readily available for study on our website.
- By scanning Hutchinson's pictures and his unpublished Histories of Sidmouth to put online.
- By organising a yearly conference featuring outside speakers and local research.
- Working with Sidmouth College to monitor landscape change using POH pictures.
- Fixed point photography - from the exact places POH painted his views (with GPS) readings.
- Working with local museums and the Royal Albert Memorial Muesum, Exeter, to display artefatcs collected by POH.
- Mount exhibitions featuring the work of the project.
Theme 2. To improve access and interpretation of our heritage
Working with landowners and in close liaison with English Heritage and Devon Historic Environment Service, and aided by our volunteers, we have been involved with the following sites:
- Farway Castle
- East Hill
- Berry Camp
- Seven Stones
- Broad Down
- Gittisham Hill
- Littlecombe shoot prehistoric field system
- High Peak enclosure
- Blackbury Camp
- Salcombe Hill
An interactive 'archaeology trail' which aims to bring you closer to the archaeology and history of the AONB landscape has been created by the project and can be seen here. This virtual trail allows you to visit the above sites through the medium of web and learn more about their history.
Theme 3. Helping people to take an active part in their local heritage
- Organising work parties so that local people can help clear scrub from ancient sites .
- Giving people archaeological field walking opportunities and experience.
- Facilitating local people to lead walks about their heritage.
- Provide training opportunities and surveying and excavation experience.
- Transcribe documents and compile indexes.
- Working with local and professional artists to revisit Hutchinson's iconic views.
'In the Footsteps of Peter Orlando Hutchinson' Outputs
Napoleonic Military Sites and a Prehistoric Ceremonial Monument on East Hill, Ottery St Mary
by Hazel Riley - Consultant in Landscape History, Management and Conservation Grazing
If you have driven, cycled or walked along the top of East Hill, above Ottery St Mary, you will have passed within a metre or so of a scheduled prehistoric site and within a few metres of two sites which have up to now defied classification. Peter Orlando Hutchinson was the first person to write, map and attempt to describe these sites. Volunteers from the East Devon AONB ‘In the footsteps of Peter Orlando Hutchinson’ project have cleared the three sites of vegetation and then surveyed them under the supervision of Hazel Riley. Hazel’s authoritative report and plans would seem to solve the riddle.
For more publications and information see below